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What Recourse Do I Have if I Was Exposed to Toxic Chemicals at Poe Hall?

Personal Injuries

What Happened at NC State University’s Poe Hall?

Poe Hall, NC State University’s home of the College of Education and Department of Psychology, was closed in November 2023 following a series of tests that detected toxic chemicals in the school environment. It is to remain closed through 2024. The discovery of toxic PCBs has resulted in an investigation lasting many months, which in turn has raised concerns about negative health effects on those who taught, studied, and worked in the seven-story building.

The lab results showed that toxic chemicals were present in certain building materials. Even the tests themselves have fallen under scrutiny, with at least one critic, PCB expert David Carpenter, saying that the analysis was “done very badly.”

Now, the victims of the Poe Hall tragedy are demanding answers, and NC State is lawyering up.

What Are PCBs Like Aroclor 1262?

Commercial production of PCBs was banned in the United States in 1979 with the passage of The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Since that time, there have been numerous lawsuits against Monsanto Company, which manufactured and marketed PCBs under the trade name Aroclor.

Aroclor was one of the most commonly used PCB mixtures in the country.

Linda Birnbaum, former director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Science (NIEHS) and the National Toxicology Program, said of the tragedy, “In our country, things can be put on the market with almost no testing whatsoever … and once you have chemicals that are useful and they’re all out there, it becomes very hard to get rid of them.”

Unfortunately, even decades after they were banned, PCBs continued to make their way into bodies, homes, and the environment. Recent exposures to PCB have occurred throughout the country, primarily in older buildings that have not been properly updated to remove traces of the potentially deadly chemical from the building.

Poe Hall was built in 1971.

PCBs may be present in products and building materials from before the 1979 PCB ban. Products that may contain PCBs include:

  • Adhesives.
  • Cable insulation.
  • Capacitors.
  • Carbonless copy paper.
  • Caulking.
  • Cork.
  • Electrical equipment.
  • Felt.
  • Fiberglass.
  • Floor finish.
  • Fluorescent light ballasts.
  • Foam.
  • Oil-based paints.
  • Oil used in motors and hydraulic systems.
  • Plastics.
  • Transformers.

Exposure to PCBs (also known as polychlorinated biphenyls) can have toxic effects on the immune, reproductive, nervous, and endocrine systems in people. PCBs can also cause cancer.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released a fact sheet on practical actions for reducing exposure to PCBs in schools and other buildings. Among the recommendations were removing PCB-containing caulk, paint, and other PCB-containing building materials. In addition, the EPA recommended the removal of PCB-containing fluorescent light ballasts.

The toxic PCB Aroclor 1262 has thus far been detected in the following rooms:

  • Fifth-floor women’s bathroom.
  • Room 100 (a second type of PCB, Aroclor 1254, was detected here).
  • Room 310-P.
  • Room 417.
  • Room 520E.
  • Room 730 (also detected Aroclor 1254).
  • Room 732C.

If you frequented any of the above rooms, you must seek medical attention and consider your options for taking legal action.

Do You Have Legal Options if You Were Exposed to Toxic Chemicals at Poe Hall?

Victims of toxic exposure have legal options.

A series of lawsuits were filed in the state of Washington on behalf of a group of over 200 teachers, students, and parents exposed to leaking PCB ballasts in fluorescent light fixtures at one school. In addition to hundreds of millions of dollars awarded to the unfortunate victims in these lawsuits, Monsanto was required to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in punitive damages.

With ongoing cases like the Poe Hall toxic exposure incident, it is difficult to anticipate what will come next. Those exposed to toxic chemicals at Poe Hall should seek professional legal advice from experienced personal injury attorneys. Our personal injury law firm offers free consultations to all prospective new clients. In your case review, we can answer any of your questions or concerns while detailing your legal options going forward. It is especially important for those experiencing adverse effects suspected to be due to their exposure to PCBs at Poe Hall to reach out to legal representatives. Remember, the university has hired legal representation. You do not want to take legal action against the school without legal counsel of your own.

Toxic chemical exposure cases most often fall under premises liability cases. Under premises liability law, property owners and management staff owe a certain level of safety to lawful visitors on their premises.

Injured or infected victims may seek legal recourse if they were harmed due to:

  • Failure to conduct proper inspections.
  • Failure to follow safety regulations.
  • Failure to post warning signs after a dangerous condition was detected.
  • Ignoring or downplaying reported toxic exposure accidents.
  • Improper handling of toxic materials.
  • Inadequate safety measures.
  • Negligent building management.

Those with a potential personal injury case for toxic chemical exposure are encouraged to hire attorneys experienced in handling toxic exposure cases.

Schedule a Free Consultation with Experienced Personal Injury Lawyers Today

Brent Adams and Associates is accepting cases for victims who suspect they have been damaged as a result of exposure to PCBs present in Poe Hall on the campus of North Carolina State University. In addition to offering a free case evaluation to new clients, we also work on a contingency fee basis, meaning that we only accept attorney legal fees in the event that we are able to win your case and secure a settlement.

Please call for a free, no-obligation consultation. 910-249-6891.

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